Friends of Fakahatchee: Dedicated to financial and volunteer support to preserve the unique ecology and cultural heritage of Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park and educate the public about its importance.
Tours and EventsRegister Now for Tours and Events
You don’t have to get your feet wet or drive your car down Janes Scenic Drive to see the wonders of the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.
The new “Ghost Rider” tram, named in honor of the famous Ghost Orchid found in the park, lets you look at wildlife and plants without concentrating on the road. The park is home to more orchid species than any other place on the North American continent. The Preserve is also a haven for diverse wildlife and migratory birds.
An experienced guide leads each 2 1/2 hour tram tour and points out interesting aspects of the park. The tour takes you past wet prairie where you’ll learn about the underlying geology that shapes the landscape, stops at a slough to get a window into the strand and includes a 15 minute walk down an old logging path to see numerous air plants, a variety of ferns, and seasonally blooming orchids. The path is high and dry, but hikers need to wear closed shoes. The 20-passenger tram is wheelchair accessible. Some seats face backwards. Advance reservations are required and participants will be required to sign a standard release of liability form.
Night is right for the Moonlit Fakahatchee Tram Tours
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Thanks to the Moonlit Fakahatchee Tram Tours, you can now experience the Park and its night skies without light pollution. The tours are scheduled to coincide with a full moon and start as the sun is setting, prime time for spotting some of the mammal residents of the Strand as well as birds settling in for the evening.
The tram is high and dry and provides an excellent platform for viewing the Park’s features by moonlight. City-dwellers will be amazed at how their vision changes as their eyes adapt to the light the moon provides.
An experienced naturalist leads each tour and will demonstrate communication with denizens of the night, including fireflies, bats and owls. The tram is wheelchair accessible. Some seats face backwards. Advance reservations are required and participants will be required to sign a standard release of liability form.
Each Tram Tour and Swamp Walk begins with a 1 ¾ mile ride on the group’s Ghost Rider tram to the site of the swamp walk. After about 90 minutes of walking through the swamp, participants board the tram for the return trip. Naturalists leading the group will share their insights about the Fakahatchee’s flora and fauna on both wet and dry portions of the adventure. New this season is a New Year’s Day Tram Tour and Swamp Walk, which Higgins calls “The perfect way to start 2015.”
Participants should be sure to wear sturdy lace-up shoes and to bring dry clothes for the drive home. This is an outdoor event, so dress appropriately for the weather. Advance reservations are required and participants will be required to sign a standard release of liability form.
Biologist led Fakahatchee Swamp Walk
Many people say the only way to experience the beauty and diversity of the Fakahatchee Strand is to immerse yourself in it. For many visitors, a Friends of Fakahatchee Swamp Walk is the highlight of their Florida visit. Led by an experienced Park biologist or naturalist, participants wade in cool clean water which will vary from calf to waist high for half a day observing the native wildlife and plants in the Fakahatchee Strand. This is a long, strenuous walk into the heart of the Fakahatchee. Advance reservations are required and participants will be required to sign a standard release of liability form.
Swamp walkers should wear long pants and lace-up boots or sneakers (no waders or open-top boots). A hat and long-sleeved shirt are also recommended. Bring water, snacks, or lunch. Bring bug repellent if you are sensitive. Put anything you do not want to get wet in zip-lock plastic bags. You will also want to have a change of clothes to leave in your car for a more comfortable trip home. Advance reservations are required and participants will be required to sign a standard release of liability form.
Friends of Fakahatchee Private Tours
A Friends of Fakahatchee (FOF) private tour can be the highlight of the season for your community or organization. To arrange an exclusive private swamp walk, tram tour or board walk tour for your group, please email the FOF Executive Director, Francine Stevens at info @orchidswamp.org.
Check Eventbrite for the schedule and availability for any of these activities and to make reservations.
Places are limited.
All proceeds are used by the Friends of Fakahatchee, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, to support Park maintenance, conservation programs within it, the improvement of visitor facilities, and to fund our educational activities. Additional opportunities to experience the Fakahatchee are available through volunteer activities. Join the Friends of Fakahatchee today. Members also receive advance notification of all events, as many of these activities book up early.
Private tours are available. For further information contact: email@example.com.